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The Transport Minister of New Zealand, Simon Bridges, has announced that the Government has approved that the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) moves to the next stage with the Ara Tuhono Puhoi to Warkworth road PPP procurement process.
NZTA will invite private sector companies to put forward proposals for financing, designing and constructing the highway, with a view to awarding a PPP contract in October 2016.
The Puhoi - Warkworth is a 18.5km stretch of new 4-lane highway. The project is part of the 38 km Ara TÅ«hono - PÅ«hoi to Wellsford road, which is divided into two sections: PÅ«hoi - Warkworth and Warkworth -Wellsford. The new motorway is one of seven Roads of National Significance (RoNs) identified by the government as key to unlocking New Zealand's potential for economic growth.
The total investment for the Ara TÅ«hono - PÅ«hoi to Wellsford road is estimated at about NZ$760 million (US$550 million). The project aims to extend the Northern Motorway (SH1) from the Johnstone's Hill tunnels just south of PÅ«hoi to a point north of Wellsford.
Simon Bridges stated:
"The private sector will have the opportunity to bring innovative design, operation and risk management to deliver the project more effectively than traditional procurement methods. If, however, the private sector can't offer value for money, NZTA would instead revert to a more traditional procurement model. Construction without a PPP would likely begin around two years later than under a PPP," he says.
"The PÅ«hoi to Warkworth project is the first section of the Ara TÅ«hono - PÅ«hoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance. This critical link will provide opportunities for economic and social development in Northland, providing a better connection for freight, tourism and motorists.
"The PÅ«hoi - Warkworth project is the second Road of National Significance section to be considered for a PPP. The first, Transmission Gully, will open in 2020, with the PPP model allowing its construction to commence while freeing up around $1 billion of Crown funding for investment in other transport projects."
We have recently reported abut several road PPP projects globally: